You knew that the Indianapols Colts were going to re-sign Peyton Manning to a new contract — the cap figure if they franchised him would have been so prohibitive (over $20 million in the 2011 league year, which would have Manning taking up more than one-sixth of the Colts' total salary cap space), any other option short of letting him test the open market would have been preferable.
Fortunately for the hearts of Colts fans everywhere, the team was able to come to terms with perhaps the most important player in Colts history -- if we're not talking about Johnny Unitas. Manning signed a five-year, $90 million contract on Saturday that will pay him $69 million in the first three years.
"Signing Peyton was a top priority for this organization and we are thrilled that the deal is complete," Colts owner Jim Irsay said in a statement released by the team Saturday. "We feel that it is a salary cap friendly deal and it allows us more flexibility."
Irsay then tweeted all the details of the deal, bringing an entirely new level of breaking news to social media (a few edits are ours):
OFFICIAL----WE HAVE A DEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It's a credit 2 Peyton; he put Colt fans, teammates, Ind. n winning ahead of all else. It's 69 over 1rst 3 (23 a yr.1rst 3) 9 0 over 5, cap friendly
We got good cap relief this year from 23 mil. WITH Franchise Tag-- to 16mil. With new deal- and no Peter King, No plans 2 redo..I'm done
think of cash vs. cap this way-any guaranteed money is spread out over entire contract-3 yr.deal,3 mil. Bonus counts 1mil.a yr.
Irsay then referenced the current budget struggles going on in the nation's capitol:
They'll get it done in DC, deadlines r often tip-toed but failure isn't an option - Plenty of camera time, though.
Sounds like the lockout that just ended. In any case, this deal gives the 35-year-old Manning the security of knowing that he'll retire from the game with the only team he's ever played for, in an offense he runs to a ridiculously high standard. And he hasn't lost a bit of his ability — last season, with injured receivers all around him, Manning attempted and completed the most passes of his 13-year career.
It's a win for all involved — Manning, Irsay, the Colts, and the twitterati who love the dialogue.
- Peyton Manning